PRESS RELEASE – JUNETEENTH
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2020
Dr. Basiyr Rodney
American Ahmadi Muslims Commemorate Juneteenth
As the African American community recognizes Juneteenth as a day marking full emancipation from slavery in the United States, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and its Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (PAAMA USA) acknowledge the beauty of African American culture and its incredible global impact in elevating freedom and emancipation as universal human values.
The Qur’an teaches mankind to recognize varying colors and hues of people as signs of a Generous Creator and as a means to highlight our rich human diversity. This book of God reminds us that acknowledging our diversity is a way to attain greater knowledge of self, enlightenment about the world, and righteousness in the sight of God. The Quran states:
“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colors. In that surely are Signs for those who possess knowledge.” 30:23
“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honorable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you.” 49:14
As Muslims who are members of the African American Community, we remain committed to maintaining diversity in our spaces of worship and service. We pride ourselves as being actively involved in the lives of the people among whom we build mosques and educate our children. Many of these locations are in communities where a majority of our neighbors and supporters are African American.
Events of the past weeks, including the cruel murder of unarmed black Americans at the hands of some police, have brought deep pain to the African American community. They remind us of the difficult struggles that remain to ensure the full rights and dignity of African Americans. Addressing these events, the Khalifa (Worldwide Head) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, emphasized that governments should reflect on Islam’s vanguard principle of supreme justice for all people, regardless of race, saying, “The sustenance of a government is in its just dealing of all its citizens.”
In prior years, his predecessor, His Holiness Mirza Tahir Ahmad — who established the Pan-African Association — recognized the plight of the African American community. In his 1986 speech called ‘The Detroit Address’, he stated:
“The fact is that actual power and authority are still in the hands of the whites. Consequently, the blacks live in an agitated state of extreme distress. As far as Islam is concerned, it is a universal religion that does not discriminate between races. It forbids mistreatment of people due to their race or color.”
“As Ahmadi Muslims, we remain committed to our Islamic values, which abhor hatred and discrimination,” said Dr. Basiyr Rodney, National President of the Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association. “We affirm that African Americans are a valued part of our American and broader human family. African Americans have made rich and outsized contributions in the face of great injustice. You are worthy of our respect. We wish for our brothers and sisters peace and blessings this Juneteenth.”
On Juneteenth 2020, Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association USA acknowledges the struggle of African ancestors against slavery and domination. We further acknowledge the ongoing campaigns against structural inequalities; denied social and economic opportunities; racist incarceration, health and family policies; and all forms of structural violence that are inflicted upon Black people in America today. We join with civil rights and African liberation leaders who share a vision for a world that is free from all forms of racial prejudice, cultural oppression, and discrimination. And we affirm our own commitment to the struggle for equal rights and justice in the United States.
We wish all the best for a blessed and peaceful Juneteenth. May this Juneteenth mark a continued strengthening of our shared commitment to faith, justice, unity and peace throughout the United States.
To join in solidarity, please visit www.paama.us
Interviews with national and local leadership can be arranged.
About the Pan African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association
The Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (PAAMA) USA, established June 2017, is an organization of African-American, African-Caribbean, North African and Subsaharan African Muslims. As an all African Muslim entity, we aim to unite, empower and inspire the Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim diaspora to serve Islam, Society and Africa. Established in 1984 by the 4th Khalifa (Worldwide Head) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has spread to seven countries under the leadership of the 5th and current Khalifa. PAAMA USA engages in peace conferences, community and social service, and youth development.
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